The school place offer

The admissions team will make you one offer of a school place after they have processed your application. This will be the highest of your stated preferences that is available.

Offers will be available to view on the Citizen Portal, emailed (if you have opted in for this) and sent by 2nd Class post on:

  • Year 7 (secondary school) places: 1 March 2020
  • Year R (infant/primary school) places: 16 April 2020
  • Year 3 (junior school) places: 16 April 2020

If the offer is for your first preference school, this is the only notification you will receive.

If you have forgotten your password or have trouble logging in, please see our Citizen Portal guidance.

How to accept the offer of a school place

You can view the outcome of your application and respond to the offer online by logging in to the Citizen Portal.

The letter will also enclose a reply slip asking you to accept the offered place within 14 days. If you do not accept the offer, your place may be withdrawn and offered to another child.

As there is no guarantee of being successful, you have the right to appeal the place offered. You will be placed on a waiting list for your preferred school.

Important: We urge you to accept the offer made to you in order to secure a school place for your child even if it is not your preferred school. Accepting the offer does not affect your waiting list position for your higher ranked schools or any right of appeal for a school place. It does however secure a place for your child.

Frequently asked questions

How are school places offered?

All admission authorities use an 'Equal Preference Scheme'. At the first stage of the process, each of your preferences is considered, regardless of your ranking or preference order, alongside all other expressions of preference for the school. All preferences expressed for a school are ranked purely against the school's oversubscription (admission) criteria.

  • If a school is oversubscribed (there are more applications than available places): Places will be offered strictly in accordance with the admission criteria stated in the admission policy for that school

  • If a school is undersubscribed: Places will be offered to all applicants

  • If you could be offered a place at more than one of your preferences: A place will be offered at the school which you have ranked highest in your application. Lower ranked offers will be returned to the system to be offered to other applicants for those schools

  • If your child did not receive a place at your higher ranked school: They will be placed on the waiting list for the schools ranked higher in your application

  • If a place cannot be offered at any of your preferred schools or you did not complete an application form: A place will be allocated at your catchment school, if a space is available

  • If there are no spaces available at the catchment school: A place will be allocated at the nearest community school to your child's home address with spaces available, or the nearest own admission authority school which is prepared to offer a place

After the offer date, we can detail schools with places available at that time of asking. For community and voluntary controlled schools, the admission policy is that of the local authority - Southampton City Council. For academies, voluntary aided schools, and trust schools, the admission policy for the school is that of the Academy Trust or Governing Body of the school, which for each school is their own admission authority.

The admission policies set out the priorities against which preferences are ranked and places offered.

What if I am unhappy with the school place offered?

You will be given reasons why a place could not be allocated at your chosen schools. Your child will be automatically added to the waiting list of your higher ranked school(s) where your application has been unsuccessful. When a place becomes available, it will be offered to the child who is at the top of the list at that time. The waiting list is ordered in accordance with each school's admissions policy.

You also have the right to make a formal appeal to an Independent Appeal Panel. The decision of the Independent Appeal Panel is final and binding on both the admission authority and the applicant. The decision letter will also include details of how to appeal.